CSA: Week 7

31 Jul

Lately I’ve been neglecting this blog, as staying cool in the midst of a terrible heat wave has superseded discussing food in our family’s need hierarchy. When hiding out in one air conditioned room, dashing out to the kitchen to throw a few barbecued chicken breasts under the broiler to cook unattended is about as interesting as eating gets. We even skipped the farmers market last week!

This week, however, was our CSA pickup. As you may remember, our last disbursement was chockfull of a wide variety of delicious produce. Due to our small, sporadic meals over the last ten days, that box did last for a bit longer than the others. Our pickups are on Thursday, and by Tuesday of the week prior we were craving something farm fresh, so I don’t know that this box will survive quite as long.

In our latest disbursement, we received:

  • one small, perfectly ripe cantaloupe
  • one pint of blueberries
  • one pint of sweet orange cherry tomatoes
  • three cucumbers
  • three yellow summer squash
  • two huge sweet onions
  • one pound of green beans
  • three green bell peppers
Today I plan on turning some of those luscious cherry tomatoes and cucumbers into a lemon-basil vinaigrette drenched salad to accompany some fabulous lamb meatballs.
Every week that we pick up our disbursement is one of long discussion about the benefits of maintaining the variety of the farmers market versus paying double the CSA membership to receive weekly crates from the farm. One of my coworkers is a member of the same CSA farm we’ve been using, also with a half share but picking up on opposite weeks. She and I frequently compare, and occasionally swap, the items we receive. It does seem that opposite weeks receive slightly different disbursements — for example, she has twice received fresh bundles of beets, but has yet to get any squash; while we have had squash twice now without ever receiving beets. With a full share, and some effort thrown into freezing and bagging the vegetables that can survive until winter (such as green beans and snap peas) and some research into the storing of root vegetables (like the beets and onions), the stockpile born of a full summer’s share may offset the cost. Factor in the flexibility of the farmers market prices as summer draws to an end and the price of baskets of vegetables fall, and that may in the end be the cheapest option. Next year maybe we shall see.

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